Sunday, September 11, 2011

remembering 9/11

I remember exactly where I was 10 years ago when the world as we knew it changed.  I was at work.  I worked at our local hospital in the Heart Center.  Part of my position was to manage the front of the Heart Center, in that capacity I worked with the team that registered patients for various heart related procedures in the hospital.  We also ran the waiting area for families waiting for patients getting these procedures.  The waiting area had two TVs that were on constantly.  On a typical day, these TVs attempted to provide distraction to families awaiting, sometimes life changing, word on their family members.  On this day, these TVs provided life changing news to everyone.

I remember one of my staff members calling my attention to the TV news show and watching Matt Lauer announce that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.

I remember thinking that that could not have been an accident.

I remember watching in horror as the second plane struck the second Tower.

I remember a feeling of shock being replaced by a deep sorrow and sadness.  And thinking that this could not end well.

I remember my staff starting to panic and being asked if we should turn off the TVs.  The staff was concerned that this news was too disturbing for families who were waiting for news of their loved ones in surgery.  We did not turn off the news.  We couldn't.

I remember calling my parents to check on my aunt, uncle and cousins who lived on Long Island and worked in The City.  They were all okay.

I remember the Pentagon being hit next.

I remember learning of the plane going down in the field in Pennsylvania.

I remember people starting to panic.  We were in Delaware, which is 2 1/2 hours from New York City and 2 1/2 hours from Washington, DC, and people weren't sure what the target were.

I remember crying, standing in the waiting room, as I watched the Towers go down.  My first thought was all those innocent people and all those fire fighters.

I remember not being able to turn off the TV that night.  Of sitting on our couch crying while all those people put up signs for missing persons.  Mark kept telling me to turn off the TV.  I couldn't.  I needed to hear those stories, to see those pictures.  As if I was somehow helping them by watching their stories.

I remember the events of 9/11 bringing people together.  Of thoughts of hope and unity for our country.

Now it is 10 years later and I remember more about that day than I do about last Tuesday.  I remember being changed by the events of that day and the days that followed.  And I have changed in other ways since that day.  I am a mom now.  I still cry when I watch the tribute shows.  I cried today during the pregame show for the Eagles game as the players helped the fire fighters and police hold the American Flag.  I couldn't even explain to my kids why mommy was crying.  I want them to understand how much our country changed that day, but I want to shield them from the horror.  From the devastation that followed those acts of terrorism. 

I want them to understand but I'm not sure that at 7 and 5 they are old enough to understand without being scared.  My goal as a mom, in all things not just 9/11, is to protect my children not shelter them.  So I tell them that 10 years ago some bad guys did something that caused a lot of Americans, innocent Americans, to die.  That today is a day of remembering all the innocent victims.  I tell them that we are remembering the events of 10 years ago so that we never forget.

Today I am remembering all the fallen heros that went to work that Tuesday like any other Tuesday and never came home.  I'm remembering all the families whose lives where changed that day.  I'm remembering all the heros who were sent off to foreign lands to defend our country and especially those who did not come home.  I'm remembering how fortunate I am to be able to hug my kids and send my husband off to work knowing that he will come home tonight.  I'm remembering why it is that I believe that America is still the greatest country to live in.  I'm remembering 9/11/01.

1 comment:

Gardenia said...

a lovely tribute. I too remember the day ass if it were yesterday.